Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Doncaster The First Game In A Good Run For Arsenal

Arsenal play at home to Doncaster Rovers tonight in the third round of the Carabao Cup which is a competition that has formerly gone by so many names I have forgotten most of them. It's a competition we have never won under Arsene Wenger and if memory serves me right we have only won it twice ever with George Graham delivering the trophy in 1987 and 1993. It's a competition in which we regularly give a run out to fringe players and youngsters and I expect it to be just so tonight too.

Arsene Wenger said it will be a similar team to the one which beat Koln in the Europa League last week, but I expect we will see even less of an influence from the first team. Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal both started that game and Sead Kolasinac came on as a sub, but I would be surprised if any of them were in the squad tonight. Alexis Sanchez played from the start too and with him still on the path to full fitness I suppose it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that he could play tonight, but I doubt it.

To be honest it would almost be an insult to Alexis to play him tonight and if he does play it would certainly be seen as a punishment for wanting out in the summer. We don't play again until next Monday though so there would be plenty of recovery time if he was chosen. With Danny Welbeck injured yet again it would be crazy to risk Alexis tonight and there would be a huge backlash if he played and picked up any sort of knock.

I imagine we will see players like Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Per Mertesacker in defence with David Ospina probably in goal although I'm not sure who the wing backs will be. In midfield it seems Jack Wilshere will get a run out and you would imagine Mohamed Elneny would start too with Ainsley Maitland-Niles playing in either midfield or defence. The front trio could easily consist of Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and Reiss Nelson and it looks like a side which should have every chance of getting a good result at home to a League One club.

I don't profess to know too much about the current Doncaster side, but they have only one win and six points from their first eight league games. Confidence can't be too high for them, but I would imagine they will still be looking forward to a trip to one of the big boys and a chance to make a name for themselves. It's a potential giant killing for them and we have to be aware of that and make sure they don't get a  chance to do themselves too proud.

The team are on a high at the moment after the 0-0 draw at Chelsea on Sunday and facing into a run of games which could and should see us rack up win after win. On Sunday it looked like we had learned the lessons from our defeat at Liverpool, but for me the crunch will come in the next few away games at the top teams. We have looked like we have learned those lessons too often in the past only to have failed just when it matters the most. 

We're already six points off the top of the league, but a few wins in a row would soon see us close that gap. The opportunity is coming up to do just that and tonight's performance could have an influence on that even without the first team players on view. Confidence is a thing which grows with each result and anything other than a win tonight could dent that confidence.

I'm looking forward to both Wilshere and Chambers showing what they can do tonight and maybe giving the manager some food for thought in his first team selection. Giroud might just get his 100th goal for the club and Nelson looks like the most likely player from the youngsters to make a breakthrough this season. It might not be the most important competition in the world, but I'm always very fond of watching Arsenal win.

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment